Jamaica-Cayman cooperation opportunity

| 09/07/2010

(Jamaica Gleaner): We are happy that the Cayman Islands authorities, as has been reported by the territory’s premier, Mr McKeeva Bush, are trying to think of ways to ease the visa restrictions they placed on Jamaican travellers. But while Mr Bush’s suggestion of opening entry to Jamaicans who already hold US visas can only be considered a first step, we assume that it is proffered in a genuine spirit of cooperation while both sides pursue a more practical fix.

Read full editorial

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Viewpoint

About the Author ()

Comments (35)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Wasn’t it Jamaica who reported recently that there is an element of corruption that was discovered within the Police Force for issuing false Police Records? Emmmmmmmm

  2. Anonymous says:

    It saddens me that people try to segregate Jamaicans from Caymanians. But Caymanians are so much a part of Jamaicans, "we" are so familial related that I find the only ones who are pushing this segregation issue, are those who have "hate" in their blood, and have no family connections with Jamaicans. I also note, although Jamaicans have committed crimes more than any expatriate on this island, these haters are the ones who are the first ones to link all crimes to them

  3. slug says:

    When it comes to our relationship with Jamaica, I think we need to strengthen it.  People, please don’t undermine the relations we have between Jamaica and Cayman.  Yes, the visa and our security are issues to consider, but I am one who still believe that THE WAY we imposed a visa-restriction on our neighbor, Jamaica, was done the wrong way.

    We should have held talks with the government on Jamaica on reducing crime before making quick decisions for our own security. There is just a way on how you do things. You just don’t overnight point the finger at a country for your crimes and say you will be imposing a visa-restrictions on the country without talks. Portia retaliated to the unexplained actions of the Cayman Islands like any other prime minister would have done. It is just bad foreign-policy’ practice on our part to not communicate with a country before imposing a ban on them – countries who are at war with each other do such things!  And are we at war with Jamaica?  The government at the time, should have been ashame of themselves. There was a way on diplomatically dealing with the situation.   

    Now I may not like the UDP, so don’t brand me as one, but I am glad that the issue is being address. Jamaica and Caymanian ties have gone back from donkey years. Now to treated Jamaica so coldly like we have some bias against them, it is time to at least, let them know that we have no bias against them or their people. So I am glad we are taking some steps towards strengthening the relations between us.  

    This does not mean that we must lift the visa restriction to remedy the situation. The damage is already done.  But it does mean that we consider bringing about an understanding between us and them, and look at ways on reducing crime and on how Jamaicans can be secured from prejudices and biases against them.  And if talks lead to lifting the visa restriction, it means that we can look at other option on weeding out criminals from entering the country. Jamaica has much to offer to the tourism industry despite its debt. She has helped us before and can do so now. So if we look on the bright side, there could be some positive solutions to this problem.  

  4. Anonymous says:

    This fellow Bush does not speak for me or most of my fellow Caymanians. If he has offended anyone, we apologize and promise not to re-elect his XXXX. The visas stay.

  5. LH says:


    People, the fact remains and you don’t like this, Sir Vassel Johnson was a BORN Jamaican who many Caymanians are honored to call him a Caymanian…

    It just shows to me, how you have some ignorant Caymanians who like to believe that we can run this country on our own. I tell ya, without the help of our Jamaicans and neighbors abroad we would have probably been in a worse economic condition than we are in now.

    Just admit that many of you commenters have negative things to say about Jamaicans because you are prejudice against them whatever that bias is…lol… it all derives from complete ignorance!

    From a Caymanian father married to a Jamaican

    • Anonymous says:

      I for one have no problem with Sir Vassel havbing been born in Jamaica. I don’t know anyone that does. Lots of Caymanians were born in Jamaica.  

  6. Sandra says:

    Wasn’t it some weeks ago we heard of young Caymanians commiting crimes in the United States.

    lol… I tell ya… if the US decide to restrict Caymanians from coming there, you won’t hear the end of it!  At least we have a better reputation in Jamaica than up there.

    Cayman wake up!  It is time we put this Cayman-Jamaica visa restriction behind us. Jamaica is still our neighbor whether we like it or not. And for those who are prejudicial against Jamaicans, especially the colored ones, I will have you know that one of our national heroes, Sir Vassel Johnson was a Jamaican and was one of the prime builders of this financial industry. Read your history about Sir Vassel Johnson on how he saved Cayman’s economy – I am sure the Queen didn’t knight the man for no reason.


    • Anonymous says:

      I am not sure which planet you are living on.

      1. Of course we have had a few Caymanians commit crimes abroad, but these are relatively insignificant. It is preposterous to in any way compare that to the threat posed by Jamaican criminals to us 

      2.  FYI, we have an excellent reputation in the U.S. and elsewhere.

      3. "if they decide to restrict Caymanians from coming there, you won’t hear the end of it".

      NEWSFLASH! Caymanians are ALREADY subject to visas to go the U.S. The "restriction" in respect of Jamaica is a Cayman visa, i.e. the exact equivalent. 

      Please stop pretending as if the visa issue is a question of prejudice. Are suggesting that every country that has imposed a visa in respect of Jamaicans are simply prejudiced against Jamaicans? Was Canada when it imposed a visa? How about Britain?  Bermuda?  Turks  & Caicos? Anguilla? In short are you going to assume that the whole world is prejudiced against Jamaicans or are you going to face reality that there is a large criminal element in Jamaica that poses a substantial threat to the national security of these countries and territories? 


      • Anonymous says:

        the issue is really what was said and how it is said and how it was put in place. have nothing to do with the fact that a visa system is applied. I’m sure if it was done in a respective order it wouldn’t have imposed a problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh, and the case of Sir Vassel Johnson (and many others) proves that the issue is not about prejudice against Jamaicans. 

      Don’t be a dimwit. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    You would assume wrong. Cayman has a successful financial industry and Jamaica does not. Where would you have gained the expertise – by dreaming about it? Case closed.   

    • anonymous says:

      You people in this forum seem to take these comments of the Gleaner and

      the words of the Premier of the Cayman Islands lightly. Any Premier or leader of any country, CEO, Manager, or employee that is seeking professional help from Jamaica a country that is a marked ‘FAILURE" in the Financial Industry, the poison of the Caribbean,  that man has got to be a ‘MAD MAN"

      If this is what the premier is proposing to have Jamaican Political thieves that have robbed the Jamaican Treasury already, then he is in for a shock. We will not have it. Cayman will March if he tries this one. First Cayman Bank was not a big enough disgrace  now all of a sudden we need the help of our neighbors that are the stench of the financial industry riddled with robberies drugs, murders, finalcial businesses at high risk etc;, etc,  The man is insane !,

    • Anonymous says:

      They must have spent the night at the Holiday Inn Express! 

    • noname says:

      Ahh..based on your logic…We have a successful financial industry..Jamaica does not..hence Jamaica doesnt have intelligent people to work in the financial industry in Cayman…Chalk that off to another myopic Caymanian..

      • Anonymous says:

        Do try to keep on track. The issue is not intelligence, but relevant expertise. And no Jamaica obviously does not have the relevant expertise for the reasons already discussed. 

  8. Anonymous says:

    Reply to: Anonymous Mon July 12 – 9:10

    some well reasoned arguments against posted here. While I am of the opinion that the VISA implementation, by both nations, was slightly ridiculous, I do accept and agree with many ofyour points raised.


    I suggest that you post the same comment on the Gleaner website also.

  9. Dorane says:

    It’s your country and if you want to have visa restrictions, so be it. I can well understand your reluctance in wanting a flood of Jamaicans to your shores. However not all are "ugly" Jamaicans. I’m sure you realise that there are many of us who do not fit the perceived mould. Some of us really are tired of crime on our Island, and this combined with the economic crunch, necessitates our seeking a "better" life. It is not that we believe the Cayman Islands are Nirvana and will provide the ultimate solution, but in the short term may prove to be just that. All our citizens are not cut from the same cloth. Your Immigration Department will have their hands full, I’m sure, and they will have to be the ones to determine who comes into your country. They will not get it right all the time, but leave them to do their jobs and don’t be so paranoid

    • Anonymous says:

      My dear, the visa restrictions are not a result of paranoia or the belief that all Jamaicans are "ugly", but instead as a result of recommendations from our law enforcement agencies (including the Immigration Dept.) based on the intelligence they have received. Unfortunately, while there are many fine Jamaicans there is also a large criminal element. If you have a suggestion as to a better mechanism than a visa to screen these out then we are all ears, but please don’t, like the Gleaner, make light of our national security interests.  

  10. Anonymous says:

    Clearly, the Jamaican Gleaner takes a very patronizing stance. First, it is has the temerity to suggest that Caymanians need not concern ourselves about any increase in crime and overstaying that may result from removing the visa requirement since it should be within the competence of our police to catch the criminals in such a small place.  First, it is preposterous to suggest that our national security should take second place to ease of trade with Jamaica, and second, if the Gleaner had bothered to look at our spiralling crime rate which is far from matched by our rate of solving crimes coupled with the estimates of overstayers it would be patently obvious that that is an unreasonable assumption. 

    However, the Gleaner does not stop there. It goes on to propose an economic partnership between Jamaica and Cayman. It goes like this: Cayman has a financial services industry; Jamaica wants to have one, therefore Cayman should export some of its financial sector jobs to Jamaica. Now it is obvious why this is in the best interests of Jamaica, but especially at a time of economic recession of what possible benefit is this to Cayman? Where is the "partnership" exactly? Of course it bases the whole idea off the misconception that Jamaica possesses the necessary expertise to do back office workfor our financial industry. It does not. Practically none of our recruiting for these jobs is done in Jamaica for the same reason. Relevant expertise means more than being a Chartered Accountant but having the knowledge and experience related to the complex financial transactions and instruments that comprise our financial services industry. 

    Then, as if to add a final insult, it is suggested that our regulatory standards may somehow fall below Caricom’s standards and may have to be upgraded to meet them. There is no country in Caricom, particularly Jamaica, that has higher standards of probity than Cayman. Cayman already meets international standards as attested by the FATF, the IMF and most recently by the OECD.

    There are a few choice words that I would have for the Gleaner and they are not "thank you very much".   

    • Richard Brown says:

      "Where is the "partnership" exactly? Of course it bases the whole idea off the misconception that Jamaica possesses the necessary expertise to do back office work for our financial industry. It does not. Practically none of our recruiting for these jobs is done in Jamaica for the same reason. Relevant expertise means more than being a Chartered Accountant but having the knowledge and experience related to the complex financial transactions and instruments that comprise our financial services industry. "

      This is the most condescending piece of bile that i have ever heard…If Jamaica does not possess the necessary expertise, then i am assuming the people of the Cayman Islands do not as well. Intelligence is intelligence wherever. Please do not let your bitterness towards the Jamaican people take over your sense of rationality.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is no bitterness in comments, just rational statements of fact. On the other hand, your post is just an emotional reaction because your national pride is wounded.

        You are right that the Caymanians do not possess all the expertise needed for our financial industry (but they do possess some). That is why highly qualified and experienced persons are imported from major onshore financial centres (and not from Jamaica).

        The whole idea is preposterous.  

        • anonymous says:

          Arden and Ezzard, Alden and Kurt if you let Big Mac get away with putting Jamaican Polital Thieves over our Finances, you too will be ousted in 2013 or before  along with Big Mac!

          Dr. Tomlinson, can you please tell us if the premier is now talking out of his head or did he drop on his head!?

        • Anonymous says:

          Oh please..despite the wealth of the Cayman Islands, No one really cares about it come on..Let’s get real. Most Jamaican’s dont give a flip about your country. FYI..Many educated Jamaicans have sought and found jobs in other major onshore financial Institutions..Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps..just perhaps we aren’t interested in working in the Cayman Islands? Majority of the Jamaicans that work in your country are poor uneducated people who still manage to come to the islands and do well. I would be bitter too if I were you.

          Let is be known that Jamaicans are a proud resilient bunch..We know that we have problems but we tackle them head on instead of running to Mama England.. Come to Jamaica..get rid of the bitterness, lose some weight and feel al right

          • Anonymous says:

            You insult your own countrymen by suggesting that those who come to Cayman are poor uneducated people. Many of them are well qualified in their respective fields be it medicine, teaching, crown prosecutors and criminal defence attorneys etc. In those fields Jamaica does have the relevant expertise and therefore persons are recruited from there to fill these positions.  A number are wealthy businessmen.

            This is not an anti-Jamaican position, it is about cold, hard reality that it does not possess the relevant expertise in the financial industry that you are unwilling to accept.  

            I love Jamaica and just returned from holiday there.


            • Anonymous says:

              Several points…

              You think that being poor and uneducated is insulting….I do not.I think it’s a phase for some..The fact is majority of Jamaicans that work in the Cayman Islands are poor and uneducated..gardners, nannies ..etc. Therein lies your bias..you automatically assume that if someone is poor and uneducated that it is an insult. That is probably why you would have no problems with Canadians, British or Americans. Go figure.

              Where did you get your facts that Jamaicans do not have the expertise to work in the financial industry? You are assuming thar because Jamaicans do not choose to work in the Cayman Islands, they are not qualified and that because our financial industry is not doing well.(.fyi..it is doing a lot better now,) that Jamaicans lack the expertise..Well using that logic you could say, Phillipines do not have a good medical system..hence they do  not have any good medical experts There are a lot of great nurses and doctors from the Phillipines despite that their healthcare system is not good. ..Please think a little..

              Most of these sentiments are very anti Jamaican and that is why there is a huge conflct..Somehow, over the years a lot of Caymanians have become anti Jamaicans..I am yet to hear of a Jamaican living in the Cayman Islands, from doctor to gardner, who does not think that majority of Caymanians are exhibiting prejudice to Jamaicans..

              • Anonymous says:

                Clearly, someone cannot be convinced against his will so no amount of reasoning and facts supplied by me will suffice. This is therefore my lastl post. 

                It will help you in life if you try to remove that massive chip of your shoulder. 

                • Anonymous says:

                  No chip present..just not gonna allow you to get on your soapbox and spew your diatribe without attempting to confront it….

  11. Anonymous says:

    My opinion is that the Cayman Islands should stop requiring Visas for Jamaicans – at the same time  that America and the rest of the world does. Which will be like – next never. And it is so uncouth for the leader of our country to go to another country and criticize people or the opposition within his own country.

  12. Chris says:

    "In any event, the problems ostensibly posed by illegal Jamaican residents could not be so large and grave as to be beyond the competence of the Caymanian immigration and law-enforcement authorities. It is hardly likely that Jamaican illegals and/or criminals could be lost in George Town, or elsewhere in the territory." –Jamaica Gleaner

    Right now we are in the middle of an Immigration Amnesty hoping that these same illegals voluntarily leave the jurisdiction as we are unable to enforce our laws. 

    In addition a fugitive who was the subject of an "all out police manhunt" in West bay was not found for 30 days.

    Another suspected international criminal who was in police custody escaped from the Central Police station and is yet to be found.

    Little does the Gleaner know, there is so much that has proven as being beyond the competence of the Caymanian immigration and law-enforcement authorities. Enforcing the present immigration laws for overstayers, work permit holders and permanent residents and the occassional fugitive seems more than enough work for  the meager resources at the disposal of the Cayman immigration and law enforcement authorities.

    Opening the flood gates by removing the visa requirement for Jamaicans will be too much for the already overstretched Cayman authorities to manage.

    Lifting the visa requirements is a bad idea that should not be considered at this time.

    • A-nuh-me says:

      And to borrow the Gleaner’s phrase, 

      "Its hardly likely Jamaican criminals could get lost in a small shanty town like Tivoli Gardens"….

      See how stupid their veiled attempt at sarcasm to belittle our size sounds?


    • Richard Brown says:

      I thought the suggestion was merely to allow people with US visa’s not to apply for a Cayman visa…this is not buy any stretch allowing the "floodgates" to open…Anyone would agree that employment opportunities in the US are far greater than in the Cayman Islands…It is alos a bigger country. Why would someone with a US visa choose to run off or whatever in the Cayman Islands?

  13. Dennis Smith says:

    A well-written and heartfelt article in the Gleaner. I though that the partnership idea had a lot of merit and many profitable possibilities. Jamaica has a lot of talented and well-educated people ready to work. Any product or service that could be transmitted via the Internet would work and face-to-face meetings are only 45 minutes away. A great country that has problems that discourages many people, but those of us with ancestral and cultural connections have an advantage over most outsiders. We can see past its problems and roughness and find ways to develop mutually prosperous businesses in both countries. Perhaps this is the time for Cayman to help its closest neighbor while helping itself? Cuba es el proximo. ¿Te hablas español todavía?

    • Dennis Smith says:

      Read the "full article" before you click the thumbs down button.

  14. Miss Daisy says:

    No dahlin. I’m sure that the Caymanian authorities had no idea that our Premier was in Jamaica making such sugesstions to you all. Which just goes to show the level of co-operation and comunication within our Government.

    • IRON CLAD says:

      Oh my God… Here we GO AGAIN!!

      What a DAMN MESS we are in AND for the future of this little piece of rock!!! 

      So help us God!!